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Worker crushed at coal face

04 October 2021

MINING COMPANY, Three D’s Mining Ltd has been fined £100k for safety breaches following a fall of ground on the NW9 coal face at Dan-y-Graig No 4 colliery located near the village of Crynant, South Wales.

Swansea Crown Court heard that, on 15 November 2017, two workers were preparing the roof for the erection of supports with the use of a pneumatic chisel when 0.6 tonne of stone fell from the roof and hit one of the workers on his back. He suffered significant crush injuries, large pelvic haematoma and a three spinal fractures.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not carried out an assessment of the strength of the timber. The 24mm timber used to support the roof was not strong enough. The timber was not industry standard half rounds or split bars which are 65mm thick.

Three D’s Mining Ltd Dan-y-Graig No 4 Colliery, Neath Road, Crynant, Neath were found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Also, Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999.

The company has been fined £100,000 payable over four years. Costs were not awarded as the company is entering administration.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal inspector Adrian Taylor said, “Small coal operators should follow industry guidance on the use of support material on small coal faces. Any changes should be fully assessed to check suitability.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”